Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Tuesday Morning Bracketology Week 8: 1/4/11

It's time once again for our weekly installment of Bracketology. This week finds the Wisconsin Badgers in the tournament for the first time in the past 6 weeks. After a sweep of the UMass Minutemen, the Badgers jumped up five places from #17 to #12 in the PWR. Remember, we'd like to get to at least #13 or #14 to lock in an at large bid.

The WCHA gained two bids this week with Wisconsin and Colorado College playing themselves into the tournament. If the season ended today, the WCHA would have six teams in the tournament. Having half your league qualify as at large teams is impressive indeed. The six currently in the tournament right now: North Dakota, Denver, Minnesota-Duluth, Nebraska-Omaha, Wisconsin, Colorado College.

Step 1: Pick the 16 tournament teams

1. Yale
2. North Dakota
3. Denver
4. Boston College
5. New Hampshire
6. Minnesota-Duluth
7. RPI
8. Michigan
9. Nebraska-Omaha
10. Miami
11. Notre Dame
12. Wisconsin
13. Alaska
14. Colorado College
15. Maine
16. Atlantic Hockey Champion (Robert Morris)

Bubble Teams (in order): Union, Merrimack, Princeton, Boston University, Dartmouth

Step 2: Assign the seeds

No. 1 seeds: Yale, North Dakota, Denver, Boston College
No. 2 seeds: New Hampshire, Minnesota-Duluth, RPI, Michigan
No. 3 seeds: Nebraska-Omaha, Miami, Notre Dame, Wisconsin
No. 4 seeds: Alaska, Colorado College, Maine, Robert Morris

Step 3: Place host teams in regionals

Right now we have two host schools in the tournament. New Hampshire is hosting the Northeast Regional in Manchester, and Yale is hosting the East Regional in Bridgeport. Therefore, UNH is placed as the #2 seed in Manchester and Yale is the #1 seed in Bridgeport.

Step 4: Place number 1 seeds in regionals
Number 1 seeds are placed based on proximity to regional site.

No. 1 Yale (Host) is placed in the East Regional in Bridgeport
No. 2 North Dakota is placed in the Mid-West Regional in Green Bay
No. 3 Denver is placed in the West Regional in St. Louis
No. 4 Boston College is placed in the Northeast Regional in Manchester

Step 5: Place the other 12 teams avoiding intra-conference match ups if possible Begin by filling in each bracket by banding groups. Remember that teams are not assigned to the regional closest to their campus sites by ranking order within the banding.

If this is the case, then the committee should seed so that the quarterfinals are seeded such that the four regional championships are played by No. 1 v. No. 8, No. 2 v. No. 7, No. 3 v. No. 6 and No. 4 v. No. 5.

Number 2 seeds:

No. 8 Michigan is placed in No. 1 Yale's Regional, the East Regional
No. 7 RPI is placed in No. 2 North Dakota's Regional, the Mid-West Regional
No. 6 Minnesota-Duluth is placed in No. 3 Denver's Regional, the West Regional
No. 5 UNH (host) is placed in No. 4 Boston College's Regional, the Northeast Regional

Number 3 seeds:

No. 9 Nebraska-Omaha is placed No. 8 Michigan's Regional, the East Regional
No. 10 Miami is placed in No. 7 RPI's Regional, the Mid-West Regional
No. 11 Notre Dame is placed in No. 6 UMD's Regional, the West Regional
No. 12 Wisconsin is placed in No. 5 New Hampshire's Regional, the Northeast Regional

Number 4 seeds:

No. 13 Alaska is placed in No. 4 Boston College's Regional, the Northeast Regional
No. 14 Colorado College is placed in No. 3 Denver's Regional, the West Regional
No. 15 Maine is placed in No. 2 North Dakota's Regional, the Mid-West Regional
No. 16 Robert Morris is placed in No. 1 Yale's Regional, the East Regional

Our bracket as we have it set up:

East Regional (Bridgeport, Connecticut)
1 Yale vs 16 Robert Morris
8 Michigan vs 9 Nebraska-Omaha

Mid-West Regional (Green Bay, Wisconsin)
2 North Dakota vs 15 Maine
7 RPI vs 10 Miami

Northeast Regional (Manchester, New Hampshire)
4 Boston College vs 13 Alaska
5 New Hampshire vs 12 Wisconsin

West Regional (St. Louis, Missouri)
3 Denver vs 14 Colorado College
6 Minnesota-Duluth vs 11 Notre Dame

This week we only have one and it's an easy switch. We have Denver playing Colorado College. Keep in mind teams can only be moved within their own band. Therefore, we're going to flip #13 Alaska with #14 CC.

Our new tournament:
East Regional (Bridgeport, Connecticut)
1 Yale vs 16 Robert Morris
8 Michigan vs 9 Nebraska-Omaha

Mid-West Regional (Green Bay, Wisconsin)
2 North Dakota vs 15 Maine
7 RPI vs 10 Miami

Northeast Regional (Manchester, New Hampshire)
4 Boston College vs 14 Colorado College
5 New Hampshire vs 12 Wisconsin

West Regional (St. Louis, Missouri)
3 Denver vs 13 Alaska
6 Minnesota-Duluth vs 11 Notre Dame

Bracket integrity looks strong.

There are no swaps that jump out at me to improve attendance without creating an intra-conference match up or ruining bracket integrity. Attendance looks strong in most of the regionals which should make the NCAA happy.

So that's what we'll go with for this week.

Week by week Wisconsin tournament tracker:
Week 1: #12 overall seed vs Michigan in Mid-West Regional in Green Bay
Week 2: First team out of the tournament, #16 in the PWR
Week 3: Falling further away from the tournament, #24 in the PWR
Week 4: Stopped the bleeding, moved up to #18 in the PWR
Week 5: Still hovering in the bubble, dropped a spot to #19 in PWR
Week 6: Gaining some ground, moved up to #17 in the PWR
Week 7: Stalemate, still at #17 in the PWR on a bye week.
Week 8: Back in the game, #12 overall seed in Northeast Regional in Manchester

chuckschwartz@live.com
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